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Tuna Casserole Recipe

Break out a family favorite: tuna casserole. The traditional comfort food is great for serving large groups. In our tuna casserole recipe, we cut the sauce with chicken broth, but there's enough milk to make this casserole feel indulgent.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8
Tuna Casserole Recipe

Source: Everyday Food, October 2011


  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound tubetti or elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cans (6 ounces each) solid light tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 2 minutes less than package instructions (it will be undercooked). Drain. In a small bowl, toss together panko, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons oil.

  2. In pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, 8 minutes. Add flour and whisk to coat onion with flour. Slowly whisk in broth, then milk.

  3. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce is thickened, about 8 minutes. Stir in pasta, tuna, and peas and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  4. Transfer tuna mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and top with panko mixture. Bake until sauce is bubbling and crust is golden, 17 to 20 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Reviews (13)

  • carey_ha 2 Jan, 2015

    I love this recipe and have made it a number of times. It's very easy and, because it's relatively healthy, I feel okay about eating a casserole. I never have cream of mushroom soup on hand, but I alway have the ingredients for this. I love it with lot of extra peas.

  • EBerkson 7 Jul, 2014

    This recipe was tasteless. I'm so disappointed. I never used a recipe off Martha's recipe that disappointed but this one did. I kept adding salt and cheese but no luck. Boo. It'd be great if this recipe was revamped.

  • Swasian35 26 Jan, 2014

    I had high hopes for this recipe -- whole milk, tuna, pasta, cheese -- I was sold. This is very bland in flavor but easy to make. I had to add a lot of sriracha sauce to add flavor. This is not a keeper for me. Martha rarely disappoints but my mouth was underwhelmed.

  • Mqmyers 8 Jan, 2014

    I just made this--very yummy. I also added chopped red pepper, celery and 2 chopped garlic cloves to sauté with the onion. And a few dashes of cayenne pepper to the sauce. I didn't have Parmesan, so I grated some cheddar (about 1/2 cup) and mixed it with the panko for the topping with 2 tbsps melted butter. I still felt like it could've used a little more zip, but it was very satisfying and everyone loved it.

  • Marthaisgenius 8 Dec, 2013

    Decent. Nothing too surprising here. It is nice to not have to open a can of cream of mushroom to make a tuna casserole but this could stand to be punched up a bit.

  • cheltz1 20 Oct, 2013

    This was a flop for me. The lack of cheese inside the casserole (only on top), and no spices should have been a red flag. It's just pasta with a creamy sauce plus tuna. It isn't worth the surprising amount of effort the other reviewers mentioned for a casserole.

    But if I did have to make this again, I would add about 2 cups of shredded cheese (it sounds like a lot, but standard casseroles of this type call for more!), a dash of chili powder/pepper flakes, corn or more peas, and basil or parsley

  • traceypants 1 Oct, 2013

    for as much liquid and pasta as this recipe calls for, two 6oz cans of tuna didn't seem like nearly enough. I used three 12oz cans of tuna, and added mushrooms and broccoli. It turned out hearty and satisfying and I highly recommend these revisions, upping the tuna content at the very least!

  • bethwankel 20 Jun, 2013

    Good recipe, nice and light. My husband appreciated that there wasn't a can of cream of mushroom soup in sight :) Should not be tagged "meatless" though LOL.

  • Annapolis Cook 22 Oct, 2012

    Delicious! The only change I made was raw broccoli florets added the sauce and pasta before baking. I also added a tablespoon of Penzey's Mural of Flavor. It's even better for leftovers the next day!

  • Sandie Maldonado 3 Oct, 2012

    Made this recipe for dinner tonight but used bow tie pasta and I didn't have any peas. Regardless of the peas, it was just wonderful. A new staple at our house has been born.

  • JWAnderson 23 Mar, 2012

    Although it was a bit more involved than I prefer on a weeknight, the end result was worth it. Best tuna casserole I've ever had.

  • OSUMeghann 21 Dec, 2011

    This turned out well and I like that the ingredients are easy to have on hand. It did seem more involved than I expected and took awhile to get it into the oven. I used regular breadcrumbs but next time will try panko.. ended up being way too much breadcrumbs throughout. Would recommend topping with just half a cup.

  • kalie0 4 Nov, 2011

    Nice meal. Easy to make out of pantry staples. Just use what you already have at home. I used spagetti and a blend of mozzarella, cheddar and Parmesan. I think next time I will add mushrooms. Would even be nice without the tuna and more veggies. My cat loved it too!

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